Over the next few months I will be inviting guest bloggers to write on a theme of their choice related to art, creativity, education, healing and spirituality. I invite you to comment and discuss what has been introduced so we can explore and develop new ways of living..in the first of this series, I would like to introduce guest blogger Dr. Martin Gostentschnig, a psychotherapist from Austria. He has developed a practice that heals to ignite often suppressed creativity strengthening and deepening our connection so we can bring it into the world and share with others. So instead of bringing forth a destructive force from our wounds that has the potential to harm thousands if not millions, his practice brings light turning the harm to global healing. This blog post explores a philosophy of life...life is art
What does art mean to you?
At the beginning before reading any further, I’d like you to sit back and reflect a little on the following question: “What does art actually mean to me?” Please forget any theoretical definition of the term and focus on your own, personal meaning and understanding.
Although we all have some basic understanding of what is meant by the term art, still then it will mean something different to each one of us, if we really dive deep into ourselves. Yet there is no need for conflict or heated discussion to arise, but only an opportunity to share this meaning and connect to each other. I will try to share my meaning with you – which is a philosophy of life - and I’d like to invite you doing the same in the comment section of this article.
To me the question of what does art mean is the same question as what is the meaning of life – for life is art and art is life. Life is expressing itself through us, if we let it flow. Every day we are given the opportunity to express ourselves in countless ways and fill our life with meaning. Therefore each and every one of us is an artist – our life the material on which we create.
So far everything sounds beautiful, here comes the ‘but’. Is our life a beautiful melody, are we really happily playing the song of our life or are we feeling depressed, dejected and in despair?
There is a story about a man who finds a violin on the street. He is neither familiar with music nor with this particular instrument. Nevertheless he takes it along and tries to get out a few sounds from the instrument. As it sounds horrible, he puts it on the shelf and forgets about it. After several months, while he had already forgotten about the instrument, he receives a guest who on seeing the instrument picks it up and starts to play a beautiful melody. Now listening in astonishment he is spellbound, what beautiful melody his guest is eliciting the instrument and in course of time applies as his student to learn from him.
If we don’t ask ourselves the question ‘What does life mean to me’ and find our unique answer, chances are high someone else will step in and our life will be in disorder. Asking the question what is the meaning of life is like reflecting on which melody do I want to play on the violin of my life. Do I chose a beautiful melody, do I chose it myself, does someone else choses the melody for me or do I just fool around with the instrument and am wondering why it sounds so horrible. Am I enjoying the melody or do I try to close my ears to it?
The melody is playing continuously, if we like it or not. We have only two options – trying to make it beautiful or numbing ourselves. Unfortunately the age of consumerism does not want us to be independent and manifest the beauty that lies within us – it wants us to consume more and more. Consumerism wants us to believe that we have to always take in, possess more instead of express and give. To me being creative and expressing our true feelings and notions goes along with being united with our inner happiness. If you give a smile, it will come back to you manifold – but have you ever been able to take a smile from someone?
From the experiences of my own life and my work as a counsellor, being who we really are and expressing our true feelings and ideas is one of the greatest challenges in life.
Facing life with the understanding that it is art can help us to awaken our inner creativity as well as facing the great challenges with a smile on our face – looking at them as opportunities to express our uniqueness and yet being connected with one and all. Even the problems and difficulties that we are encountering are only a help to grow as a person, manifest more of our creativity and solve them in our own unique way. It helps us to connect to ourselves, to others as well as to the current of life.
And although life wants to express itself in countless ways through us, there are just too many who expect us to be in a certain way, act in a certain way, believe certain things … which actually kills our inner spirit.
To understand life as art gives a basic outline of how we can overcome this predicament. In life we are given countless opportunities and chances and it is totally up to us what to make of it. Although people always try to tell us do this, don’t do this, do it this way etc. the beauty of life lies in the diversity and countless chances, that we are given. I am convinced that we can only be happy if we dive deep into ourselves and find our own unique answers to the mysteries and challenges of life.
It is rare to find someone who will support us in trusting our inner voice as usually others always know better and will create doubt in our mind. And yet if we want to manifest the melody of our life, we should try to be true to ourselves despite all the obstacles on the path. I hope that my understanding of ‘Life is Art’ can help you a little with that and I am eager to find out more about your own meaning.
Let me conclude with a quote from Henry Miller:
“One can live joyously - one must! - in the midst of a world peopled with sorrowing, suffering creatures. What other world is here in which to enjoy life? ... After all, the world we inhabit is only the reflected image of our inner chaos but given only half a chance, men will express the best that is in them.”